Emerging Artists Development Programme - a City of Cape Town and Artscape partnership

Marlene le Roux, CEO Artscape, artist Nompumelelo Rakabe, Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille

Creating a stepping stone for the careers of emerging artists.

The Emerging Artists Development Programme is a partnership between the City of Cape Town and Artscape.

Extract of the following speech delivered by the Cape Town’s Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille, at the launch.

"The use of the arts to illustrate the diverse cultural heritage we have here in Cape Town fills me with joy.

Cape Town is blessed with many gifted artists who continually make us proud of their abilities and achievements, not only here in the city but in other parts of the country and on the world stages.

I have for a couple of years seen numerous galleries and art studios open up in our city where well-known artists show and sell their work. We really appreciate and realise the significance of these established artists, their contribution to our economy, and how they work to showcase the beauty of this wonderful city in their work.

However, I felt it was important for us as the City of Cape Town to provide a space where young and emerging artists can showcase their own work.

For the majority of these developing visual artists, making a living from their work is a challenge because it is expensive to buy material, find space to display and establish the proper networks to sell their work. And for many of them it is tougher because they come from previously disadvantaged communities where, under apartheid, there was little to no investment in infrastructure that could support their artistic trade.

As an opportunity city, we want to offer a platform as a stepping stone for their careers and expose their work to people who would normally not come across their craft.

The Emerging Artists Development Programme

That is why we partnered with Artscape to facilitate the Emerging Visual Arts Programme and we thank Marlene le Roux and her team for hosting this exhibition on our behalf.

This is not a once-off project. This is a pilot phase for what is to come and we plan to sustain it to give upcoming artists a fighting chance in this industry. Our intention is to provide opportunities to about 20 local emerging visual artists from previously disadvantaged areas where we provide training, development and possibly a permanent space to display their crafts.

These emerging artists will also have the opportunity to promote their work next month when I activate space at Greenmarket Square as part of the Mayor’s First Thursdays. During that programme we are giving an opportunity to upcoming artists as well as established performers to showcase their talent.

I want to thank the artists whose work is in front of us for being an inspiration for people in our communities and for shining the light on this neglected space of young artist development and support.

We will continue to invest in inclusive public spaces and avail our facilities for initiatives aimed at empowering fledgling artists.

By working together, we can truly make a great city even greater and show the world that our past and our circumstances cannot stop us from being our best."

PHOTO: Marlene le Roux, CEO Artscape, artist Nompumelelo Rakabe, Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille [Bruce Sutherland - CoCT]

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